- Created: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 14:47
- Written by Sam Mcgill
On 4 August, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro survived a dramatic assassination attempt when two drones detonated explosives above him as he gave a televised speech in Caracas. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by ‘Operation Phoenix’, a group of renegade Venezuelan soldiers, but investigations indicate a shadowy network of right-wing actors in Colombia, Venezuela and Miami. Scarcely a month later, US Republican senator Marco Rubio called for US military intervention in Venezuela, while the New York Times exposed secret meetings between 11 US officials and coup-plotting Venezuelan officers. Luis Almagro, secretary of the US-aligned Organisation of American States (OAS), continued his crusade to isolate Venezuela, arguing ‘with regards to a military intervention aimed at overthrowing the regime of Nicolas Maduro…we should not exclude any option’. Such blatant disregard for sovereignty provoked a backlash across the region, but the US is punishing anyone stepping out of line, with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St Vincent excluded from a US visa renewal waiver system after rejectingan OAS resolution against Venezuela.